Long non-coding RNA produced by RNA polymerase V determines boundaries of heterochromatin

Gudrun Böhmdorfer, Shriya Sethuraman, M. Jordan Rowley, Michal Krzyszton, M. Hafiz Rothi, Lilia Bouzit, Andrzej T. Wierzbicki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


RNA-mediated transcriptional gene silencing is a conserved process where small RNAs target transposons and other sequences for repression by establishing chromatin modifications. A central element of this process are long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA), which in Arabidopsis thaliana are produced by a specialized RNA polymerase known as Pol V. Here we show that non-coding transcription by Pol V is controlled by preexisting chromatin modifications located within the transcribed regions. Most Pol V transcripts are associated with AGO4 but are not sliced by AGO4. Pol V-dependent DNA methylation is established on both strands of DNA and is tightly restricted to Pol V-transcribed regions. This indicates that chromatin modifications are established in close proximity to Pol V. Finally, Pol V transcription is preferentially enriched on edges of silenced transposable elements, where Pol V transcribes into TEs. We propose that Pol V may play an important role in the determination of heterochromatin boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere19092
Issue numberOCTOBER2016
StatePublished - Oct 25 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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